School choice supporters across the country are celebrating Milton Friedman's legacy, as the father of school choice would have turned 103 years old today.

Friedman was particularly concerned about inner city schools, which he felt were doing a poor job of educating students. To remedy the problem, Friedman proposed government grants that could go toward tuition at any school: private, public, secular, non-secular, etc. The grants are sometimes known as school vouchers or opportunity scholarships. There's also a new type of grant called education savings accounts in which families get full control of their grants and can spend them on a variety of educational expenses.

Friedman's proposal was not without its critics. In the video below, Friedman delivers a speech in Harlem, N.Y., in 1978. A college professor from Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York criticizes Friedman's proposal, arguing that it would allow private schools to take the best students and shut out black students.

Friedman responded that school vouchers would allow a variety of schools to thrive, including schools that could cater to minority students. "There is not a single thing you could do in this world that would do more to improve the condition of the black people in the lowest income classes ... than the voucher scheme," Friedman said in response. "Consider what would happen if the parents in Harlem, each one of them separately, had the possibility of disposing of $1,500 per child per year for the schooling of that child. Do you mean to say that there wouldn't be a flowering of schools of all kind?" Friedman referenced a preschool setup by the Black Panthers in Oakland, Calif., that outperformed all the other preschools in the area.

Adjusting for inflation, $1,500 in 1978 is equivalent to about $5,500.

Friedman's response begins three minutes into the video.